Cooler Heads Digest 22 January 2010

by William Yeatman on January 22, 2010

in Cooler Heads Digest

In the News

Will Cass Sunstein Stand Up to EPA?
Marlo Lewis, Open Market, 22 January 2010

A New Path for the Sierra Club: Agitation
Carter Wood, Shop Floor, 21 January 2010

Michael Mann’s Climate Stimulus
Wall Street Journal
editorial, 20 January 2010

An Environmental Tea Party Brewing against Wind Power?
Robert Bradley,, 20 January 2010

How Many Taxpayer Dollars Does It Take To Change a Light Bulb?
Greg Pollowitz, Planet Gore, 20 January 2010

Climate Change and National Security
William Yeatman, Philadelphia Inquirer, 17 January 2010

With Dems Doomed, Why Not Address Climate Change?
The New Republic
editorial, 16 January 2010

Global Warming and Wealth: Lessons from Haiti
Daren Bakst,, 15 January 2010

Senator-elect Brown Opposes Energy-Rationing
Eric Moskowitz, Boston Globe, 17 December 2010

News You Can Use


The Sunday Times of London broke the news this week that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-the so-called “scientific consensus”-misled the world on the stability of the Himalayan glaciers in its Nobel-prize-winning Fourth Assessment Report. According to the Sunday Times, the IPCC claimed that Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035, citing a World Wildlife Fund press release (which, in turn, cited a magazine article interview from six years prior). Glaciologists consider this claim “ludicrous,” yet it still passed through the IPCC’s supposedly rigorous peer review (and, if you believe the IPCC, was agreed to unanimously by thousands of top climate scientists). Then again, many of the IPCC’s authors and editors are key players in the ongoing Climategate scandal.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Update on EPA Reform

On Thursday, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) introduced a resolution to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.  Thirty-eight Senators, including three Democrats, signed on as original co-sponsors.  The Democrats are Senators Mary Landrieu (La.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), and Ben Nelson (Neb.).

The resolution of disapproval would suspend EPA’s finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare and therefore must be regulated under the Clean Air Act.  It was introduced under the special rules of the Congressional Review Act (CRA), meaning Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) cannot block it coming to the floor for an up-or-down vote and that only a simple majority is required for passage.

It’s not clear when Murkowski will bring her resolution to the floor.  Under the CRA, she has sixty legislative days after EPA transmitted the endangerment finding to Congress.  That gives her to early May by my rough guess of the Senate schedule.  I estimate the Senate will pass the disapproval resolution with around 55 votes.  The House has no special CRA rules, so Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) can prevent it from coming to the floor for a vote.  This means that Murkowski’s resolution isn’t going to be enacted this year.  However, Senate passage would send a clear message to the Obama Administration and set up efforts later in the year to offer an amendment to the EPA appropriations bill to withhold funds for regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

The most revealing initial response was from Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee.  Boxer was quoted in a Washington Post story by Juliet Eilperin that the resolution was “a direct assault on the health of the American people,” and that if the public had to wait for the Congress to pass climate legislation “that might not happen, in a year or two, or five or six or eight or ten.”  This suggests that even the Senator from Fantasy-land now recognizes that cap-and-trade legislation is dead for this year and possibly for years to come.

Speaking of California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and the majority and minority leaders of the California legislature brought their begging bowl to Washington this week.  They were asking for a few billions from Congress to help bail them out of their continuing budget crisis.  I think Members of Congress would be more sympathetic to this request if California’s leaders were taking serious steps to undo some of the policies that have put their State into economic freefall, including California’s global warming policies to ration energy.

Around the World

Solar Subsidies Slashed in Germany

The German government this week slashed taxpayer subsidies for solar power. The Federation of Renewable Energy, the leading lobby for solar power producers, said in a statement, “The proposed cut threatens the foundations of the German solar industry.”

UN Kicks the Climate Can down the Road

Under the Copenhagen Accord, signatory nations had until January 31st to submit non-binding emissions-reductions commitments, but this week Yvo de Boer, the head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, called the deadline “soft” and “flexible,” which means it will be ignored, just like every prior deadline established by the UNFCCC.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: